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RavenWord – Transcendence Award winner

by Joseth Radiant at 22 January 2020, 7:02 PM

Power Metal of the Symphonic strain can indeed be found all throughout the world, but it is very easy to see how it has taken a strong hold in Italy given the country’s history and contributions within both Classical Music and Opera. This Latin flair for the dramatic is put to use in a powerful way on RAVENWORD’s latest release "Transcendence". Hailing from Milan, they draw strongly upon the poems and writings of Edgar Allan Poe. Even the name of their band is inspired by the timeless poem The Raven. The album title provides the same gravitas as Mr. Poe’s writings have, about looking beyond the mundane and the ordinary to find deeper meanings and truth irregardless of how beautiful or terrifying it may be.

Right off the bat, it needs to be said that they do wear their influences on their sleeve. It is easy to hear the influence of NIGHTWISH and WITHIN TEMPTATION, but they are open and honest about that. I still find that they have achieved something unique by using Mr. Poe’s literary works as inspiration for the music and lyrics. I believe that RAVENWORD succeeds, where others have failed, by channeling not only the darkness and horror of his writings, but also the sadness. There is a tangible sorrow to his writings that most people miss out on or ignore, and this melancholy is part of the magic that makes both his writings and RAVENWORD’s music both poignant and wistful.

In addition, the performances from everyone are razor sharp and dazzle the listener on more than a few occasions. Davide and Cesare’s keyboards and guitars compliment each other splendidly. There are a few moments on the album where they trade solos and it honestly reminds me of when Yngwie Malmsteen had Jens Johansson on his "Rising Force" album. Just when you think one particular solo is outstanding, the other chimes in with a jaw-dropping solo. Another compliment I can give is that these solos come in at the perfect time. They avoid the trap of using the songs as an excuse just to mindlessly shred away on their instruments. Those face-melting solos are there when it’s time for them to be there.

Before this came across my desk, I had not heard of Chiara Tricarico, but I have now. I am very impressed with her vocal range, as well as how she can go from soft and tender to fierce and fiery within the same song. They really utilized her vocal talents affectively throughout the album, and I personally enjoyed hearing her Italian on the song "Purity". If I could give a critique about anything, it’s that I personally would’ve liked to hear lyrics being sung in Italian a lot more. In fact, if the entire album was sung in Italian, I think it would be even better. European bands should take note that the world does not mind singing in another language if the melody is catchy and the show is entertaining. Look to RAMMSTEIN as a prime example for this. Chiara’s English is very clear and understandable, but I really felt the whole weight of the lyrics when she sang in Italian.

This is another exciting release that has come across my way in the past few weeks and comes from northern Italy. The more I take a look at the Italian Power Metal scene, the more I am finding a lot of groups that punch well above their weight and make amazing music. These are exciting times to have so many quality releases coming out. Now we can add RAVENWORD to the list of strong Milanese Metal groups. "Transcendence" hits the physical and digital record shelves on January 31st, 2020 and it’s definitely a record worth purchasing. Speaking of which, as always, BUY THIS ALBUM!!!

Songwriting: 9
Musicianship: 10
Memorability: 8
Production: 9

4 Star Rating

1. Blue Roses
2. Life Is In Your Hands
3. No More
4. Lullaby Of The Last Petal
5. Purity
6. Rain Of Stars
7. The Queen Of Darkness
8. What I Need
9. The Swansong
10. Dylan
11. Crimson Lake
12. The Distance
13. Bleeding Moon
Chiara Tricarico – Vocals
Davide Scuteri – Keyboards/Composer
Cesare Ferrari – Guitar & Bass
Michele Olmi – Drums
Record Label: Rockshots Records


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Edited 02 February 2023

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